From: The last first SHAD MTA gang.
To: SHAD lovers worldwide
40320 ish minutes.
40320 moments so glad.
40320 ish minutes,
How do you measure a season of SHAD?
Now over ⅔ of the way through the first ever session of SHAD Mount Allison, it’s hard to imagine life before I met my new family. 48 of us - teenagers trying to forge their own paths in life - never suspected one could create such a sense of community in such a short time. Putting aside the fact that almost half of us came from the GTA, the SHAD MTA community is truly representative of the diversity that the best of Canada have to offer.
Without knowing it, we began a group of misfits. A resounding theme from our time thus far is that we have all faced adversity and felt alone in our communities. Within the first few days, people started feeling comfortable enough to open up and express their true selves. The more people expressed themselves, the closer our community got. SHAD, first and foremost, is a community built by the people, not strictly the plethora of STEAM-based programs. That being said, the programs were still pretty awesome.
“The workshops gave me a realization that I never know I am good at something before I tried.” - Jake Kim
The group also took a wonderful 48-hour trip to PEI to see a variety of beaches, swim in the ocean, eat some quality maritime food, and, most importantly, bond with all our fellow SHADs! Here’s what some SHADs had to say about the trip.
“Incredible. It was breathtaking. I have never seen such a natural beauty before.” - Sara Jamal
“It was nice taking a hike. It helped me destress and live in the moment.” - William Zhao
“I was able to bond with everyone, I had such a great time, and I would not trade these memories for anything else” - Nadia Shao
"Our trip to PEI provided us with the time to bond and relax.” - Nika Bajaj
All in all, SHAD is something you can only take one day at a time because you never know what the future holds. All you can do is live in the present. Before we even had the chance to acquaint ourselves with the culture of SHAD, Tri Ho, one of the SHADs here at Mount A, summed it up better than anyone:
“School is 9-3 but at SHAD it’s 24 hours a day. Every day, every hour, every minute and every second is jam packed with tons of energy and excitement. I am sure that this month will be the greatest month of my life.”
It will be immensely sad to leave on the 27th, but there is a certain happiness in seeing how much we have all developed as people in such a short span, and an excitement in thinking how we can apply our skills into the real world for the rest of our lives.
I will never forget the 47 other brave pioneers that paved a path for future generations of SHAD MTA.
By: Shaan Hooey
Photos: Emma Schmidt